May 1, 2016 will be important for the opendata movement, the Cartography and Geographical Information System (GIS) community as well as the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project and its local Association
- By that time, the first Western African crowdfunding for OpenStreetMap will be over so that OSM Bénin can purchase 275 km² high resolution imagery over Cotonou, Benin economic capital (for details see Imagerie Satellite pour OSM Benin).
- This very day, we will kick off a 3 weeks capacity building action around technical and organizational aspects of the OpenStreetMap project (the wikipedia of maps which builds the free map of the world) and Free GIS (for details see Action OSM 2016 Bénin). These intense 3 weeks of field work are being prepared in Cotonou by members of the local OSM association (OSM Bénin) in coordination with over fifteen mappers of the OpenStreetMap project from Togo, Burkina-Faso, France, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Ivory Coast organized into the collective Projet Espace OSM Francophone (ProjetEOF). This mission is supported by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) through its Direction de la Francophonie Economique et Numérique (DFEN).
This crowdfunding (Imagerie Satellite pour OSM Benin) is lead by the Association OpenStreetMap Bénin (OSMBénin) with the support of the collective Projet Espace OpenStreetMap Francophone (ProjetEOF). It aims at purchasing around 275 km² high resolution imagery over Cotonou in a license which allows for creating into OpenStreetMap geographical information about building, road network, hydrography and landuse.
This imagery has not been available for Cotonou and this forces Benin OSM community to map this town through field surveys only (GPS, Mobile phones and FieldPapers), a long time and money intensive work. This takes us back to the early ages of OpenStreetMap prior its members had access to high resolution imagery through agreements with Yahoo, Microsoft Bing or benefited from opendata programs.
Shall this crowdfunding works well, this would be a major breakthrough for the growth of OpenStreetMap in Cotonou and in Benin, as a matter of fact, with this imagery purchased, hosted and accesible:
– Not only the mappers from Bénin would be more efficient mapping Cotonou and in a position to dedicate more time to non mapping activities such information, outreach, building partnerships while continuing and expanding the activities they had been carrying out in the rest of the country since 2013 (Infolettre OSM Bénin).
– But for mapping Cotonou, they could benefit from the support of the global OpenStreetMap community and specifically the Western African local groups with whom strong relations have been established and numerous joint mapping activities have been organized since 2013.
Practically the imagery will be hosted at AgroCampus Ouest (Rennes, France) on the Spatial Data Infrastructure Libre (IFL) which uses the free IDS Georchestra so that it can be served and made accessible to all Bénin communities from the Academic sector, National/Local Government, humanitarian and development actors, private sector (GIS and ICT), free software and opendata movements as well as Civil Society. It will benefit all those actors via the imagery served from the IFL or via the OpenStreetMap data download services and the various mapping services from the OSM technical environment.
The cowdfunding closes in a week time, and 600 Euros have still to be secured: this is a modest amount compared to the large impact this imagery will have for the OpenStreetMap dynamics in Cotonou as well as the course of the OSM and Geomatics capacity building mission we are preparing for 1-21 May 2016 (Action OSM 2016 Bénin).
News about crowdfunding « Imagerie satellite pour OSM Benin » and « Action OpenStreetMap 2016 Bénin »
We will communicate on the OSM lists, the Wiki site of the OSM project in Bénin, blogs and social media used by ProjetEOF (@ProjetEOF), OSMBénin (@OSMBénin) and other Western African OSM collectives.